Patriots Pull Off A Stunner and Land CB Darrelle Revis

Welcome to Foxboro Mr. Revis.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Less than 24 hour ago many Patriots fans were headed to the Tobin Bridge. Fans were take the leap after the Broncos once again plucked the Patriots top unrestricted free agent and after the Patriots did… well, nothing. Fast forward 24 hours later and not only have the Patriots replaced Aqib Talib, they upgraded.

Early Wednesday night, Bill Belichick swooped in and pulled off arguably the biggest free agent coup in Patriots history, landing All-World CB Darrelle Revis.

Here are my thoughts on the Revis signing, what it means, and where both sides go from here.

1. The Patriots defense immediately gets better- We saw what Aqib Talib’s man to man shut down cover skills meant to the Patriots defense last season. When Talib was on the field and at 100% he took away the opposing teams top receiver and allowed the rest of the defensive backs to slot into correct spot. Now picture a cornerback that is better in man to man coverage, much  more durable, more reliable, and more technical. That is Darrelle Revis. Forget comparing Revis to other cornerback’s in the game. Over the last five years he is the cream of the crop, it doesn’t get any better.

Revis’ addition will allow the Patriots to be more flexible and creative with what they do on defense. They can blitz more, mix up different coverages, disguise in a different way, all while knowing that Revis will eliminate the best player on the field. Assuming the Patriots continue to supplement the defense with veteran signings and draft picks, their defense will enter the 2014 Season in a strong position than if they had Aqib Talib in the fold. Last night, that looked nearly impossible.

2. Bill Belichick silences the critics that say the Patriots are cheap – Darrelle Revis will make 12 million dollars from the Patriots next season, meaning he once again is the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. There has been a misconception around the fanbase that the Patriots are cheap and don’t pay top of the market value. Even though that sentiment is completely false; the Patriots have paid Rob Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork, Logan Mankins, Adalius Thomas, etc… top of the market deals, the signing of Revis should end that talk once and for all.

3. Both the Patriots and Revis got themselves a good deal – In a perfect world, the Patriots would love to have Revis locked up long term. In this situation where they just lost their top corner and the market was dwindling, they had to make concessions. From the Patriots perspective, it was important to get Revis off the market and under team control.

The Patriots and Revis now have 12 months to work out a long term extension. As long as no language is built into the contract—reports by Albert Breer suggest that it is not—the Patriots can franchise Revis at the end of next year and pay him nearly the same salary, while controlling his rights.

From the Revis perspective he gets to keep playing on a one year deal that pays him as the top corner in the game. If Revis has his typical season, he goes back on the market next season as a 29 year old elite corner, looking to cash in again. The risk with that is, if he gets hurt then his long term value will be greatly diminished. Similarly, if Revis gets hurt this year he gets paid fully and the team wasted 12 million dollars for nothing. Both sides made concessions to get this deal done and both sides are assuming some risk. But, there is no doubt both the Patriots and Darrelle Revis benefit from this agreement.

4. Excitement in the Fanbase –After a rough off-season in 2013, one where their top Wide Receiver was stolen by the competitor, and their star young Tight End was lost to a murder charge, the excitement is back in the fanbase. The month of March can be depressing around here. It’s tough to watch star players leave town and sign with other teams, all the while the Patriots are signing guys like Donald Jones or Jonathan Fanene. This move makes up for all of that.

The fanbase is ecstatic and frankly, in shock over this move and they have every right to be. This off-season is different, the Patriots punch back at John Elway, and finally decide to go “all in” to win a championship while they still have #12. (No matter what the team says)

5. Patriots stick it to both the Jets and Broncos – Perhaps the best part of this acquisition is knowing Rex Ryan is devastated. Revis was the centerpiece of the Jets defense and really, Rex Ryan’s “binky”. The Jets operated carefully, the last three years making sure they structured Revis’ deal so he wouldn’t be able to land in New England. Now one year after trading him to Tampa Bay (and got a great deal), the Jets nightmare is realized, Revis is a Patriot. It has to make Ryan and all Jets fans sick to their stomachs thinking about Revis in Foxboro, and knowing you have to go through the Patriots (and now Revis) to win the division.

The Broncos and John Elway have to be second guessing themselves a little big when seeing the Darrelle Revis deal come down. Yes, the Talib contract is less money per year, but 26 million guaranteed over 6 years is a huge committment to a player that hasn’t played a 16 game season in seven seasons. If the Talib signing doesn’t work out in Denver, it will have cap ramifications for years. Meanwhile, if the Revis signing doesn’t work out in New England they will simply let him walk at the end of next season or franchise tag him to trade him, and the cap is not effected. A shrewd move by Bill Belichick.

6. Revis wanted to be a Patriot – One thing is certain, if Revis wanted to play for another team, he wouldn’t be a Patriot. It’s been known in league circles for weeks that Darrelle Revis would be cut before the second day of the league year. That’s part of the reason why no team would part with draft picks for Revis. I am hearing tonight that Revis worked his way to New England by refusing to renegotiate his contract with other teams, essentially scaring off all other suitors.

If Revis wanted to be a Cleveland Brown he would have restructured to go there.  If he wanted to be an Oakland Raider, he would be there. If he wanted to get every last nickel, he wouldn’t be in New England, that’s for sure. In the end, Darrelle Revis wanted to be a Patriot as much as they wanted him.

7. Where the Patriots Go From Here – Darrelle Revis was the single best acquisition the Patriots could reasonably land this off-season. There is literally no better player, who helps them more than Darrelle Revis does. With that being said, there is still plenty of work to do on the roster and I know the Patriots are following a carefully orchestrated off-season game plan.

  • Get Julian Edelman and another WR in the fold: This is the biggest need at this point. I expect at least one WR to be brought into the fold within the next 24 hours.
  • Create More Cap Space: Darrelle Revis will eat up 12 million dollars of their available cap space, meaning they have no choice but create more. The move likely means a resolution to Vince Wilfork’s situation is coming (one way or another) and that players like Adrian Wilson and Dan Connolly could be cap causalities to create room.
  • Upgrade the Front Seven: Expect the Patriots to turn their attention to the defensive line in coming days as they look to supplement their pass rush and improve the run defense.
  • Get LeGarrette Blount signed: The RB market looks putrid right now and it’s increasingly likely the Patriots can get Blount back on a reasonable deal
  • Look to add veterans to Safety, OG/OC, LB, and TE: Linebacker seems to be one of their concentrations early in free agency and I expect it to continue tomorrow. As the market comes down look for them to start adding veterans to the positions of need.

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77 Responses to “Patriots Pull Off A Stunner and Land CB Darrelle Revis”

  1. Daniel R. Martin says:

    We got Browner!

    • cc says:

      Good, now let’s just get even smarter w / a trade of GRONK too Arizona and take a top pick + savings for an unfortunetly & consistently injured hype for some RELYABILITY of actual playing time for a much neededBrandon Spikes replacement and some more Wide Out help and an obvious Bad Ass Center…….

  2. Dan Sullivan says:

    Revis will make everyone on defense a better player. Great move Pats.

  3. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Not to be unduly negative, but we gained a great cornerback but lost a very good one, and have done nothing to address our lack of consistent pass rush and our woeful yet characteristic lack offensive weaponry. I’m happy about Reevis, of course. But while he is capable of shutting down an opposing team’s best wideout, Talib could as well for the 3/4 of the year he stayed healthy.

    Meanwhile and conversely, the Broncos, who were already offensive juggernauts that outgunned us last year, have added the storied Cowboys’ Franchise all-time sack leader, a pro-bowl corner (ours) and a pro bowl safety.

    Am I the only one who believes a team that was already stronger than us offensively just became better defensively as well?

    Where did they get that cap room? As long as the Pats make some cuts and do some resignings to free up some cap space, and then spend that money, I’ll be happy. But it seems to me that resignnings and extensions should have been done during the legal tampering period.

    • Cameron says:

      Personally, I’m glad the Patriots didn’t sign Talib with enough to beat what the Broncos were paying lol.

  4. scott says:

    Pats need to put together a super bowl team this year. Tom’s time is winding down. I just watched a re-play of the 2004 SB win over the panthers Damn we had a good defense what a group of linebackers. Since the loss to New York in 2007 the pats have been great but always fall short. Enough is enough.

  5. scott says:

    Pats need to sign a speedster this year to run down all Tom’s over throws, Sheeesh. I love ya Tom but maybe you need to work on that.

  6. Russell says:

    Revis deal only counts 7 mil. toward the cap. The Patriots worked a two year deal with Revis, with a no “tag'” next year write-up.

  7. J H TARBORO says:

    BREAKING NEWS Vince Wilfolk asked the Patriots for his release!

    • Pete H. says:

      It’s going to happen. If Wilfork won’t negotiate, 0% chance the Patriots keep him.

    • steve earle says:

      Just saw that too. Thanks for all the good years Vince, best of luck, By now.

    • steve earle says:

      So Wolfolk isn’t a FA unless I’m mistaken, right? So Bill doesn’t have to release him but could try to work a trade, right? If so, who want’s Vince and his big cap hit? Any ideas out there?

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        The Raiders and Redskins are seemingly always cap rich, needy & stupid! 🙂

        • steve earle says:

          Good point!!!!! LOL!

        • steve earle says:

          Hey Dan, how would Oakland’s 5th sound?

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          I’d be all over it Steve. Especially considering we get nothing in return if we cut him. I never even considered the possibility of trading him. Now has to be the time though. Before teams sober up and stop throwing money away. We missed an opportunity on Sproles. But I agree with your earlier post about Dri Archer being a good consolation prize. How did the Saints get a 5th for Sproles? Hadn’t they already cut him?

        • steve earle says:

          I think it was acm who pointed to Archer, Don’t want to take credit for his good point but it was a good one. I think the Sproles deal may have been one where the Saints had an option to match the offer so a trade was done. Pat’s did that with Miami for Welker years back. That’s a guess on my part.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          With no 1st round pick (Washington)

      • GM-In-Training says:

        Wilfork’s cap hit is not as big as you think…I think. $3.5 Million or so is dead money. His actual Salary in 2014 is only $6.5 Million or so…even at 32 I smell a 2nd round draft pick in trade.

      • acm says:

        nobody in their right mind would do that, so I guess that leaves Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders.

        seriously though, if it wasn’t for that injury, maybe the Pats could have a shot at a 5th rounder … maybe. because of the nature of the injury, cutting him is virtually the only option for the Pats, considering his refusal to rework his contract.

        • steve earle says:

          Your probably right but like Dan indacated there are some needy and stupid peole out there.

        • acm says:

          I don’t know about that desperate and stupid – look at McKenzie, even he figured out eventually that the Roger Saffold deal was beyond stupid and faked a failed physical to get out of it.

          Wilfork is at the limit of being a serviceable NT at the NFl as is – next season he will be 33. That alone would have made his cap hit (11.5 mil) and salary (7.5 mil) for 2014 unmanageable for any team out there. The injury makes any trade a practical impossibility as he would spend a good part of 2014 trying to get back to game shape and potentially(key word in all this) regain his full physical integrity for the 2015 season, when he will be 34.

          Unless he’s lost track of the reality of his situation, my guess for his request to be released has to do with emotions/pride in the sense that he would be fine playing for a lot less for any team out there but the Pats. Other than that, no one would give him the money he’s scheduled to make on his current contract even as a free agent, let alone as part of a trade.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          2 words: Conditional Pick(s). If you think Wilfork will have a better 2016 than 2015, go for conditional picks for his performance in each of the next 2 seasons.

        • steve earle says:

          Sure acm all those things you point out work against any team making a trade for Wolfolk and I don’t expect, nor do I expect Dan or anyone else really expects such to happen but if we can’t have a little fun with an unlikely but possable scenario, what the heck. I got a couple chuckles out of the back and forth of it as did others I think.
          And yes I agree Wolfolk is working from feelings of hurt pride and has forgotten for the moment that the NFL is all Buisness all the time and BB is the master of Buisness. But stranger things have happened.

        • acm says:


          It’s not the picks the other team would have to “pay” the Pats in a potential trade for VW, it’s the contract they’d be inheriting that represents the biggest stumbling block in all this. Any picks going to the Pats only make an already impossible situation, even worse.

          Again, we are talking about a player who’s getting too old anyhow, on top of that coming off a devastating injury for someone his size, and carries in his wallet a 11+ mil cap hit and 7.5+ mil salary in case of a trade.

          As it is now, Wilfork would have a hard time finding a team to give him much above the vet min in a 1-year prove-it deal as a free agent; no way anyone agrees to carry the burden of his current contract, and surely not if they have to pay for doing so, conditional picks or not.

      • steve earle says:

        Okay so no one’s going to take VW on even on a prove it deal so that leaves him with what? Retiring or taking a Pat’s restructuring offer. What am I missing here? He gets released and get’s a vet min offer somewhere, maybe? I can’t see much else.

  8. acm says:

    Rapaport is saying that Wilfork has asked to be released by the Pats.

  9. J H TARBORO says:

    I’m very happy with the Revis deal, but i feel bad for Tom Brady, get him some REAL weapons please!

    • acm says:

      yep, there is lot to feel for Brady – filthy rich, 3 Sb winner and one of the best in history, and married to Giselle. Poor fella, not sure how he lives with himself. 😉

  10. Pete H. says:

    Agree completely with the “where Patriots go from here” section. For each of the points, I see:
    1) Edelman and Collie (minimum deal) re-signed at receiver
    2) Wilfork and A. Wilson cut (don’t think Wilfork will be willing to take enough of a pay cut), Connolly asked to take a pay cut or be cut, McCourty and Gostkowski extended.
    3) Anthony Spencer signed at DE on a prove-it deal.
    4) Blount re-signed to a 2 year deal.
    5) Relatively low cost signings at Safety – Quintin Mikell, OG – Travelle Wharton, LB – Desmond Bishop, and TE – Dustin Keller.
    I also see a few minimum deals at OT (Will Svitek?), CB (Marqise Cole?), and backup QB (Grossman? – not sure who, but someone in case a good trade offer comes along for Mallet).

    • steve earle says:

      Right Pete, I agree with your assesement of the Wolfolk situation. Given that if Wolfolk is not resigned to a reduced cap number then DT becomes a much higher priority in the draft. As for Connelly, he’s probably gone regardless given age and lackluster performance. I would look for a younger upgrade Vet at OG then draft one of the top OC’s in May.
      Whatever happens in the next few days will be real intresting now that we have Revis aboard, that changes everything.

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    NFL Network just reported that the Cleveland Browns are targeting Julian Edelman.

    • Pete H. says:

      I had been thinking that Edelman would be gone becasue the Patriots would devote resources to a tight end instead, but with the lack of good tight ends on the market, they may opt to pay Edelman some money and take a low cost flier at a tight end instead.

    • acm says:

      It seems Edelman is their back-up plan if they can’t sign Andrew Hawkins RFA from the Bengals. The tender sheet the Browns have given Hawkins, and he has signed, is for roughly 10 mil over 2 years, a lot for a relatively unknown and unproven Wr, which would make any matching by the Bengals unlikely at this point.

      • steve earle says:

        I read somewhere that Browns have lots of cap room and now not having to resign Ward they may consider that Edelman can also fit so it’s still a question about his future at this point.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        The Bengals didn’t match the offer.

  12. J H TARBORO says:

    Former Seattle CB Brandon Browner set to visit the Pats.

    • steve earle says:

      After giving this some thought I think Browner might be open to a reasonable one year deal. He does have to sit out the first four games this year I believe and I would think the chance to play for team like the Pat’s and rehab his rep couls appeal anong with a chance at a SB appearance again.

  13. Tah says:

    How much of a hit would brandon browner be? with the 4 game suspension he could come really cheap and be the big receiver on the other side. this could form a nice rotation between revis-browner-dennard on the outside (keeping them all fresh)

  14. ClarenceWhorley says:

    If they could bring in Browner or one of the Cromarties that would be great, but not for big money. I like Denard, think working with Revis will make him want to be better and work harder.

    Edelman would be great to bring back but only at the right price, I think he makes his way back at a team and Edelman friendly deal.

    We should 100% bring back Tommy Kelly, he was playing very well before getting hurt. Should have him come back and that should allow Wilfork to work his way back in.

    Not sure what TE we can really bring in, besides trying to talk Touchdown Tony Gonzalez into a run for the title after the first 4 or 6 weeks of the season. I know I am dreaming but Tony on one side and Gronk on the other would be very hard for teams to deal with.

  15. PatsfaninAZ says:

    Are we sure about all of that 12 mill hitting the cap? Cant some of it be paid in a signing bonus to reduce the cap hit?

    • Big Dan From Maine says:

      Its a one year deal. Signing bonus or not there are not multiple years to spread the signing bonus over. All 12 million hit this year.

      • PatsfaninAZ says:

        now a 2 year deal. According to Albert Breer, The per-game bonuses are counted on the cap. So Darrelle Revis’ cap number for 2014 will be $7 million, with $5 million to carry into ’15.

        Good news on the cap hit this year. Would like them to sign browner and move him to SS.

        • steve earle says:

          Haven’t seen that, is that new, just out?

        • acm says:

          yeah, the contract for Revis turned out to be a 2 year one but the way it’s structured, the sole purpose of the 2nd year is to make sure the pats won’t franchise him in 2015 and that they can spread the cap hit over two years as opposed to incur the whole 12 mil as a cap-hit for 2014 alone.
          Other than that, it’s practically a 1-year, 12 mil deal.

        • steve earle says:

          Thanks acm about 2 yr contract. That’s cool! So is there an escape provision or something after yr 1 or how does that work?

    • Bill Vermont says:

      It’s a 1 year deal. Hard to spread that around.

  16. Daniel says:

    I think if we restructure Wilforks deal as well as Conollys that’ll add to the cap and we will be able to hopefully go after Julius peppers or even possibly Justin tuck. Also, I think people have forgotten about Armstead, he’s an unknown so far but considered a great talent after being signed from the CFL. If they sign Browner they should move him to strong safety as he’ has pretty good coverage skills and is physical and being 6’4 that’ll surely add a edge to this Defense.

  17. Matt says:

    I believe the next steps should be to restructure wilfork mankins and connollys contracts to create more cap space. Cut Adrian Wilson and tommy Kelly to save more money. Sign Edelman, woodyard, Avant and see what they could do about luring Jared Allen or Julius peppers to take less money and get a chance for a ring. Then when it comes to the draft. Interior D-line(Tuit) TE(ASJ or Niklas), interior O-Line(yankey or sua fila), LB, S WR

    • RMillette says:

      Pretty much agree with everything cept for 2 things. I’d rather attempt to restructure Kelly or resign him after releasing him. I think he has more to give than some of the remaining backups.

      Other than that, I see Cannon as the new interior lineman though we may want to draft a C to cut Connolly. I see the Patriots looking to someone like Matt Patchan later in the draft to be a backup OT. I’m really hoping they focus on defense in the draft early on, it needs some big improvements up front.

    • Matt says:

      Couldn’t the Pats trade Kelly for a 3rd or 4th round pick? Or is he to old to get that type of pick for him?

    • steve earle says:

      Matt this all sounds good to me I’d comment I like Allen over Peppers (just my personal choice) either would be help. Tuitt or Wolfolk comes down to one or the other I think though. If we can’t have either then how about DaQuan Jones, another personal like of mine. He wouldn’t cost a first rd pick. As for trading Kelly that would take so doing. both his age and coming of injury play against such a deal. He is a plan B if Wolfolk isn’t in the cards though I think. Nice post on your part keep the good ideas coming.

  18. Nate says:

    Do you think we use pick #29 in the draft for a CB to learn under Revis?

  19. RMIllette says:

    Have to disagree with Dennard and Arrington not being good enough. Not only have they had another year to improve (and that includes Logan Ryan as well), having Revis on the other side will allow McCourty to focus solely on the other recievers and give help to both Dennard and Arrington. What the Pats really need is better pass coverage from their linebackers and the non McCourty safety to help underneath and with TE’s and pass catching RB’s. Improving the pass rush would help in that regard as well.

    • steve earle says:

      Totally agree about that other safety. I like our 3 starting LB’s and you note we need depth there. One prospect I’ve been jumping up and down about is Ahmad Dixon a SS who I think in a nickle would be a cross over defender who could renforce the LB’s pass coverage plus provide run support as needed.

    • steve earle says:

      With Browner in for a visit I see an oppertunity here for a bold move. Sign Browner for a 1-2 yr deal and release Arrington who has severe limitations covering outside to make cap room. The CB position would have 4 deep quality players then.

  20. J H TARBORO says:

    Eric Decker is a NY JET He signed for 5yr 36.25mil this sets the market for J.Edelman.

    • acm says:

      not sure Decker and Edelman have much in common in that regard. I’d say Golden Tate’s deal with the Lions set the market for JE and it was pretty similar to Amendola’s. Tate is also is a top returner like Edelman and is a couple of years younger.
      If anything, I’d expect that Decker’s deal would be a point of reference for someone like Brandon LaFell.

      • steve earle says:

        Can’t say I’m real astute regarding how these contracts reflect on on another but if If Julian is looking for a 7 something million deal I’d think that would be straining the probability’s given he’s had only one full year to base his demands on. I’m guessing Bill would be looking more in the 4-5 mil range?

        • acm says:

          somewhere there, I’d think. No way imo JE gets more than 5mil/year for 3-4 years from the Pats. More likely 4 + bonuses to take it closer to 5.

  21. J H TARBORO says:

    Oliver, good article. If they add LB Woodyard who came for a visit, then I think it should be all draft and because of the depth of the draft the UDFA market wil have a lot of great players who can become starters.

  22. SJGMoney says:

    Next step is to get another quality CB because teams are always going to attack the guy that plays opposite of Revis. Denard and Arrington are not good enough to withstand that. No one is talking about him but Tarrell Brown is plenty good enough. Get itddone Billy B.

    • acm says:

      can’t afford to allocate so much of the cap to the CB position, so another big CB signing in FA is unlikely. Would have to be a player with question marks surrounding him like A. Chromartie or Browner, who btw is rumored to be visiting the Pats on Thursday.

      And then there is always the draft.

      • Big Dan From Maine says:

        Don’t hope for a corner back in the draft, our history shows we don’t do very well at that.

        • acm says:

          that’s one of those inherently erroneous arguments that fail at the level of logical consistency. By the same token, the next 6th round QB the Pats take will very likely be the next Tom Brady. And then there is Logan Ryan from just last year. Point is, it’s all about that player in that system under those circumstances. You start looking for correlations, you are bound to go too far.

      • steve earle says:

        My question is how much is to much? The idea of Tarrell Brown is appealing so how much do you guess he migt cost? Then would that fit in any real world way? Don’t get me wrong A. Crowmartie or Browner are no slouches either. Guess it all depends on how much Bill wants to invest in FA’s?

        • acm says:

          with the way the CB market has gone these days, I’d say no less than 4 years, 24-25 mil with half guaranteed. He’d likely be more valuable to the 9ers than another team, though.

          another issue with him going to the Pats is that he is not a big, press-man CB, which is what the Pats seem to be looking for now with having Browner over for a visit (D. Revis himself not being a giant either at 5’11”). As is right now, the Pats are loaded with smaller-sized CBs standing at 5’10” (Dennard, Ryan, Arrington) so the chances for them to invest big in another smaller guy are slim to none.

        • SJGMoney says:

          Brown won’t cost nearly that much at all. And those other small CBs are lousy.

  23. Brian Benzio says:

    Finally something to get my hopes up again.

    • acm says:

      yay, Pats fans +1 again

    • bmp1113 says:

      AFC championship game did get your hopes up at all?

      • Brian Benzio says:

        No. Like I said in the article prior to this one. I am tired of making it and not winning, I know its not possible but this team should win the Super Bowl every season. If we win a superbowl this year I would be 100% ok with 10 straight “losing” seasons if that was the price for success. We need one more, one more to complete Brady’s legacy and I will be content.

    • steve earle says:

      Yea, me too. I was just a little bumbed yesterday.

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